Couple has 90 days to demolish house

By Joseph Slacian

A Wabash couple was given 90 days to demolish their home and clean up the property.

The couple, Donnie and Peggy Fraley, told the Wabash Board of Public Works and Safety on Thursday, Jan. 3, that they have already started the process of razing the home.

The couple’s property, at 319 Euclid St., was the subject of a Board of Works meeting on Aug. 3, 2017. At that time, the board declared the structure hazardous. However, it opted to wait to see if the couple would qualify for help under the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation project that was part of the Stellar Community program.

The home failed to qualify for the program, hence the board’s action on Thursday.

“It’s already been determined to be an unsafe home,” Mayor Scott Long reminded the board and the audience.

Mrs. Fraley said the firm that will demolish the home has already started the process by removing various items. Work cannot begin, she added, until electricity is removed from the home.

Board member Todd Titus asked if the demolition would include “that little dilapidated storage building that sits back there by the alley?”

He also said that a motorhome and several trucks also were located at the site.

Building Commissioner John Stephens said typically the house is the only thing that is demolished.

Mrs. Fraley said she has been concentrating on getting the home razed and didn’t think about the items Titus asked about.

“It seems like we’re going here like we did with the North Wabash Street property,” he said, referring to a home razed at the intersection of Wabash Street and Harrison Avenue. “I guess my point is if we’re going to clean the property up, let’s clean all of it. Not just 80 percent of it. If we’re going through the trouble, all of us and the expense and however this is going to shake out, I’d like to see it all completed.”

Fraley asked if the couple can’t have vehicles on the property. Long replied that city ordinance prohibits non-functioning vehicles to be located on property.

“We’ve got other codes on the books that says you can’t have the vehicles,” the mayor said.

Mrs. Fraley said she will work on getting the vehicles and shed removed.

Stephens told the board that 60 to 90 days would be enough time to get the work done.

If it’s not completed within 90 days, the city will begin efforts to raze the structure on its own.

In another matter, the board accepted a $200 bid from Earl Coe to purchase a vacant lot at 531 E. Hill St.

The site, which was owned by Lillian Enterprises, was ordered demolished in July 2017 by the Board of Works.

Coe owns property that abuts the lot in question, the mayor noted.

“We’ve done an updated title search on the property,” Long told the board. “There are no liens against the property.”
Selling the site, he added, will mean that the city no longer will have to maintain it.

Posted on 2019 Jan 08